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1) A recording of several single-frequency tones at the beginning of a tape reel at the magnetic reference level that will be used to record the program. 2) Artificially generated tones that are used to calibrate an audio system.
See “Total Harmonic Distortion.”
A vague term describing an audio signal that that is lacking in certain frequencies, especially on the low end. Over-filtering a signal with an EQ can produce a thin sound, for example.
A principle of microphone placement that says when multiple mics are used at once, the distance between microphones should be at least three times the distance between each microphone and its respective sound source. The three-to-one rule is used to prevent phasing issues between the audio signals.
A speaker system that has separate speakers to reproduce the bass, mid-range and treble frequencies.
The level at which a dynamics processing unit will begin to change the gain of the incoming signal.
Described as the sound pressure level at which people can hear only 50 percent of the time.
In a speaker, the small opening in a horn or in a driver through which the sound wave passes from the driver to the horn.
1) In speakers and in microphones, describes the amount of unrestricted movement that the diaphragm can make. In microphone, this affects the mic’s sensitivity; in speakers, it affects the distance of sound projection. (A speaker designed for smaller spaces has a “short throw,” while one designed for a farther projection has a “long throw.” 2) In speakers, “throw” may also be used to describe the speaker’s directional output, often based on the frequencies it emits. A horn, for example, emits high frequencies in a limited angle of direction, so it has a “long throw,” while a subwoofer emits low frequencies in all directions and has a “short throw.” 3) Something a producer, engineer or musician might do with whatever is in his/her hand during a moment of intense frustration.
Cables with connectors at both ends, which are usually run through walls or floors in the studio, for the purpose of sending signals between rooms. Tie lines provide a great semi-permanent way to route and configure signal paths quickly through various parts of the studio and help the engineer keep track of signal flow.
The sound quality that makes one instrument sound different from other instruments, even while playing the same pitch. The timbre of a trumpet, for example, is what makes it sound like a trumpet and not like a flute. Timbre is largely shaped through the presence, absence and complexity of harmonics when the instrument is played.
A standardized timing signal used to help devices sync with one another, or to sync audio to video. Common time codes used in the studio are MIDI Time Code (MTC) and SMPTE time code.
(Also called “Time Stretching” or “Time Shifting“) The process of speeding up or slowing down an audio recording without changing the pitch of the sounds.
A complex mathematical ides that basically describes the time delay between when an electrical voltage is applied to a circuit and when the circuit responds to it.
The small drums (as little as 10 inch diameter) that mount on racks above the kick drum and the large drums in a drum set.